Nope, this isn’t the Olympics nor the Euro 2012, but something far more glorious where the victor gets a single wish! This is the moment we were all waiting for since the start of F/Z way back last year – The “semi-finals” between Saber vs Berserker and Rider vs Archer!
The previous two episodes were fairly heavy on dialogues and managed to squeeze in some actions scenes, this however was the exact opposite. I was quite surprised that they chose animate both battles simultaneously instead of dedicating one episode to each battle, but in the end it worked out to be just fine. Not a whole lot of talking was present save the usual suspects – Archer being cocky; Saber talking to herself (um, talking to a madman isn’t something exactly sensible) along with Rider and Waver sharing their last bro-moments together. The production values seen though was totally mind-blowing.
After this episode, the first finalist is revealed to be none other than Archer, although suffice to say we all know who the other half will be. Ever thought Rider’s Ionioi Hetairoi is overpowered like I did? Something else just surpassed that and rendered the endless armies of Rider totally useless. To reinforce my point that Ea is obscenely powerful, it should be noted that Archer himself did not even move a step to defeat Rider both inside the Reality Marble and back into the real world. (It was more so of Rider charging towards him in the end but still it goes to show how bad ass Archer is)
Personally I’m not a fan of the Rider/Wave duo, while they are arguably the more interesting side characters compared to the rest of the cast, I guess I don’t really have a thing for all those bro-moments, and I blame Waver for that. Rider is just awesome (that manly charge to certain doom). It’s just Waver.
On the other side of things, Berserker’s true identity is finally revealed, on the third-last episode no less. While it wasn’t a big surprise factor for me since I was spoiled on his identity while reading up on the Fate franchise sometime back, I still do not know why he has such a deep hatred for Saber, that issue should be dealt with in the next episode I presume. Saber seems really reluctant to square off against her former subject now that he is revealed to be Sir Lancelot, first of the Knights of the Round Table, my guess is that it will somehow end up with Kiritsugu taking out Kariya or something along those lines.
One of the things that isn’t quite obvious is whether Berserker actually responded to Saber’s request for him to reveal his identity after Saber realized that he is able to correctly deduce Excalibur’s length since he is technically a Beserker afterall. He probably still has some sanity left within him since he was able to cast off his helmet and brandish his weapon – Arondight.
As for the rest I could go into the finer details, but why would anyone want to read those when watching the actual episode is akin to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. I have my own thought process when it comes to writing and I’ll probably be shedding some light on that in a different; more appropriate post sometime within the near future.
Based on the preview for the next episode, it looks like things will get very interesting soon. Sadly I already know what the larger picture is like due to the aforementioned spoilers but nonetheless I’m still eager to see it play out and especially the final battle between Saber and Archer. (Not sure if we’ll get to see the battle though)
- While generally the animation is top-notch, Waver sure looked a little odd in this shot.
- Berserker caps are not easy to take since that black shroud that surrounds him constantly shifts and due to that most of the still shots are actually blur.